Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Monday’s 11-game NBA main slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.
Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($10,900)
Harden is averaging 1.49 DKFP per minute and now gets a juicy matchup against a Timberwolves team that is third in offensive pace and 27th in defensive efficiency. In addition, they boost the fantasy points per minute to point guards by a whopping 23.07% above league average, the most generous in the Association. Now, the Nets are favored by 11 points so the risk of a blowout is high. Since arriving in Brooklyn, in games that the final margin of victory was at least 10 points, Harden produced 51, 73, 80, 43.25, 54.25, 72.25, 62.5, 39.75, 61.5 and 41 DKFP. He’ll be fine.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Saben Lee, Detroit Pistons vs. Toronto Raptors ($3,800)
Killian Hayes (hip) and Dennis Smith Jr. (back) are out, so the point guard depth chart for the Pistons is Lee at the top with Cory Joseph ($3,900) backing him up. Lee received the start last time out and played 25 minutes and contributed 25.25 DKFP. Joseph did play 29 minutes in that contest, but the game got out of hand, so he likely got extra run as a result. Lee is averaging 0.89 DKFP per minute while Joseph is at 0.8. The Raptors have been generous to point guards this season, boosting the fantasy points per minute by 6.19% above league average.
Worth Paying Up For: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($8,500)
This is a pace-up spot for George as the Bucks play at the third-fastest pace in the league. In addition, the Clippers are favored by 2.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, so it should be a tight, competitive affair. The Bucks pack the paint on defense, giving up perimeter shots. As a result, they boost the fantasy points per minute to shooting guards by 6.23% above league average. George averages 1.25 DKFP per minute, but over the past two games, he’s gone for 55.75 and 47.74 DKFP.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Derrick Rose, New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat ($4,900)
The game environment is one of the poorer ones on the slate. Miami is 26th in pace while New York is dead-last, and both teams land in the top 10 in defensive efficiency. With that said, when Rose is on the court, he garners a good usage rate and gets plenty of opportunities to produce fantasy goodies. In his return from a 10-game absence, Rose played 29 minutes, had a usage rate of 23.4% and hoisted up 15 shots, good for 21.75 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging 1.02 DKFP per minute.
Worth Paying Up For: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder ($10,800)
Doncic missed the past two games due to a back injury and illness. In his last game played, he put up 29 DKFP. In addition, the Mavericks are favored by 11 points. Hopefully, all these factors lower the ownership percentage because his ceiling is as high as any on the slate. Doncic has scored over 80 DFKP in three games this season. In games that the winning margin has been 10 points or more, Doncic has scored 29, 53.25, 46.75, 57.5, 50, 42.75, 80.5, 51, 77.75, 56.5, 71.5, 58.75 and 48.25 DKFP. Doncic has a usage rate of 35.4% on the season, which has been over 40 in certain games, so if the Mavericks do blow out a team, he is going to be heavily involved in that outcome.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Marcus Morris Sr., Los Angeles Clippers vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($4,500)
Morris has started the past six games and has averaged 28.7 minutes, 11.3 shot attempts and 25.33 DKFP. His ability to shoot from the perimeter and stretch out defenses has been a perfect complement for George and Leonard. Is it a coincidence that the Clippers have won the six games that Morris has started? Well, the matchups probably had something to do with that, but his contributions have helped for sure. As mentioned in the George section above, the Bucks pack the paint and allow perimeter shots, so Morris should get plenty of open looks.
Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Clippers ($10,870)
Giannis has scored 33 and 35.5 DKFP in the last two games he’s played. Brad Stevens for president? The sky is falling! Sell, Mortimer, sell! He has been dealing with a sprained knee so that may have something to do with the decreased production as well. He’s off the injury report for this game against the Clippers, so I’m assuming that he’s rested and raring to go. On the season, he’s averaging a ridiculous 1.64 DKFP per minute, and the last time he faced the Clippers, he went off for 71.5 DKFP. The spread is only 2.5 points so it should be competitive throughout. Giannis is the alpha and omega of this Bucks team and can contribute in so many ways, that the floor/ceiling combo is too much to ignore despite his recent struggles.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Taj Gibson, New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat ($4,200)
Mitchell Robinson fractured his foot on Saturday, so the center minutes in New York will be split between Nerlens Noel and Gibson going forward. In the past two games, Gibson has played 27 and 34 minutes, producing 27 and 29.5 DKFP. In the 34-minute game, he got the start at power forward because Julius Randle was out, so don’t expect that playing time on the regular, but something in the mid-20s seems viable. On the season, he’s averaging 0.73 DKFP per minute.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls at Golden State Warriors ($9,300)
In his debut with the Bulls, Vucevic played 32 minutes and contributed 37.75 DKFP. The usage rate was 21.1% while in Orlando, that number was 28.6%. Now, it was the first game with new teammates so it remains to be seen how the usage pie will shake out but the cream usually rises to the top. In Orlando, Vucevic was averaging 1.42 DKFP per minute so the 1.19 number in his first game will likely go up with Monday being the prime spot for that to happen. The Warriors are the most generous to centers, boosting the fantasy points per minute by 19.93% above league average.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kelly Olynyk, Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies ($4,400)
Christian Wood ($8,400; illness) missed Saturday’s game so Olynyk received the start, played 25 minutes and contributed 34.5 DKFP. Wood is questionable for this game due to an illness, so Olynyk could get another start. The variance is wide with Olynyk but the highs are high, as he’s gone for over 40 DKFP in three games this season. Memphis boosts the fantasy points per minute to centers by 11.95% above league average, with a boost of 2.29% to 3-pointers, an Olynyk specialty.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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As of now, it looks to be a relatively low-scoring slate. I prefer a stars and scrubs approach in that scenario, as raw points and access to ceiling are valuable. There’s also some decent value to make it work. With that said, a balanced approach is more than viable and can achieve victory. It comes down to philosophical preference. How will the field approach the three games with double-digit spreads? The Utah/Cleveland game doesn’t have many enticing options but the Brooklyn/Minnesota and Dallas/Oklahoma City games do. There is also a very interesting late hammer with plenty of star power and a tight spread. I think ownership will be fairly spread out so there are many paths to victory.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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